The Face In The Mirror May Not Be You!

Author Charles Caleb Colton once said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In other words, an individual thinks that you or what you’re doing is so valuable, they emulate it. How do we know they like what you’re doing? Hopefully, no one copies someone’s traits they dislike.

In the book The Artist Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, the author calls the imitators “believing mirrors.” They are the people who mirror you back to yourself as powerful, strong and in your most positive light. They reflect the things in us that they “believe” are worthwhile.

As we see these actions, it’s important for us to recognize that we all have something inside of us that is powerful. We all have strength in areas. This gift comes with an extreme amount of responsibility. You see, if we have this kind of influence with someone, and we know it consciously or subconsciously, then it’s considerably easier to influence them in ways that aren’t so great.

That’s why it’s important to know what kind of effect you have on those around you. How do they see you? How do they receive you? And if they “mirror” you, what does it look like?

On the flipside, who are you mirroring in your life? Are there mentors, leaders, friends or even family members who you see power and strength in and you imitate those qualities? If so, how?

Take a few quiet moments and write down the things you do because you see them in someone else. What are they? Have they made you stronger? Have you become a better person because of them? Can you continue to do so?

Now, let’s go back to those who mirror us. What are we giving them to be more powerful and strong? What are we doing to make sure they don’t only focus on being our mirror? What are we doing to be a mirror for them?

In leadership, or in life in general, it’s important to understand that someone is always watching us. Every day, the people on your team check your temperature to see how you’re doing. Are you happy? Are you angry? What is today going to be like with this person?

Each day, we have the opportunity to show them exactly how we’re feeling inside. Before we do just that, though, what if we take a self inventory and make sure we are doing OK. That way, we can give out the best of us we can. If they choose to mirror us, and someone will, they can be the best they can.

Questions: Who do you see in your life mirroring you? What are you doing to influence them?



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

22 thoughts on “The Face In The Mirror May Not Be You!”

  1. I read The Artist’s Way, and don’t remember much of it at all! (Maybe you could write a post on how to retain more information from reading!)

    My closest friend is the most optimistic person I know and has influenced me greatly in that regard. It is my hope to pass that trait to others.

    Thank you, Chris – this is EXACTLY the reason I enjoy your blog so much. I will continue to contemplate these thought-provoking, character-building questions throughout the day. (Unless I forget them. Sigh.)

  2. Honestly, the first thing that comes to my mind is my son. He’s only 3, but it’s amazing how they pick up on the little details of how you act – even the details you’d wish they would overlook 🙂

  3. The first thought that comes to my mind is my children. I never realized how much of a profound influence I have upon them. I also work at a college and I have tremendous influence with them as well. It’s sometimes scary how much influence we have! It’s a great responsibility.

  4. Man, you’ve written so much to comment on in this post!
    “This gift comes with an extreme amount of responsibility.” reminds me of a John D. Rockefeller, Jr. quote: “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.”
    The person I have tried to mirror the most is my dad. I know I’m biased, but I consider him one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. 🙂 I’ve commented before about learning leadership traits from him. I see him as someone who genuinely cares for people and wants to understand the reality of a situation, instead of getting caught up in how he feels or assumptions.
    I emulate my dad by considering everything before making a decision…. And yes, I’m okay with ‘unknowns’ 🙂
    A few people have mentioned to me how knowing me has impacted their lives (I think that’s pretty cool!) Usually it’s something along the lines of how I think about things, makes them think about how they think about things/make decisions. So I guess one could say they’re not just mirroring, but it does have an impact on their lives…..hopefully 🙂
    I love your comment “take a self inventory and make sure we are doing OK.” I’ve had to do that the past week or so at work, and it can really make a difference on my attitude! It’s like my little reminder….okay, Laura, you have things to be thankful for, find stuff to be happy about, have a good attitude for the sake of those around you…

  5. My mirror is actually a transformation that I saw in my father, one that I am attempting to replicate in my own life. And while I saw and lived the transformation of my father, it is only recently that I have put together the tools that he used to “transform”. I believe them to be a complete “let go and let God” moment and a prayer life that I hope to emulate. How in the world are there people trying to lead with out being led by God???

  6. My mirror is actually a transformation that I saw in my father, one that I am attempting to replicate in my own life. And while I saw and lived the transformation of my father, it is only recently that I have put together the tools that he used to “transform”. I believe them to be a complete “let go and let God” moment and a prayer life that I hope to emulate. How in the world are there people trying to lead with out being led by God???

  7. I love this post! Jesus and MaryBeth are who I try to mirror the most. Jesus is…..well…..Jesus! And MaryBeth, as you know, is angelic. I mirrored my mom so much growing up, which is a key reason for any success I’ve had. On the flip side, the reason I carry around a smile at work every day is because it connects me with people in a positive way. I know the influence greeting others with a smile has with them as opposed to a neutral face or a big frown. As the leader of a team in my last position, like a parent, I knew I was always being watched and measured. Even today, serving in a non-supervisory position at the Pentagon, I feel I’m still being watched and measured by my team and leadership. Therefore, I’d rather model behavior I’d like to see them mirror rather than contribute to possibly bringing the team down. I’ll default to lifting behavior any day!

  8. My kids, especially my oldest wants to be like me down to her hairdo. We now look like twins with our very short, easy to maintain styles carefully complimented by long dangling earings!. It’s flattering that another individual wants to be just like me, but also a little scaring in that i don’t want her to mirror some of my weakness, but only what i’d consider to ber my strengths. As Eric mentioned below, it’s an awesome responsibility.

    On the other hand, i have mirrored my parents, and over the last couple years, i have come to really appreciate them for what they gave to me, and i can now trace a lot of my personality, my go-getter attitude in life (See i read the book:)) to them, not so much in what they said to me (even though they say and they continue to say a ton), but what i observed in their interactions with others. Again it makes me appreciate how much i ‘m capable of influencing another individual just by being.

    Some serious food for thought – great post.

    1. I think the greatest thing about REALIZING that she’s mirroring you, is you get to then work on your weaknesses in an attempt to be strong for her. And I believe it gives you a greater compassion for her growing as a person. But that’s just me. 🙂

  9. I can happily say that I mirror my father in my life. I mirror him out of my conviction and fondness towards him. He is my every day hero in my life. He has influenced me prominently at various critical points in me. I am what I am today only because of my dad in my life.

  10. As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27.19…one of my fav’s. Thinking of what you are mirroring will bring a different outlook every time. Great post!

  11. I received an e-mail today from a young man in our company who lives on the East coast. In November, he had made the decision to send care packages to the military stationed over seas because I had shared our plan for sending packages. When he received an e-mail from one of the military recipients in Afghanistan, he was overwhelmed and wanted to thank me for sharing what I did with him. And because he had done it also – he received a huge blessing by knowing how much it had impacted the soldiers who received the packages.

    You never know who is watching –

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